What would I buy…Monocoupe

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What would I buy? Monocoupe

This is the fifth installment in a series of articles based on a hypothetical set of airplane ownership criteria. Note: This information is strictly the opinion of the author. Your mileage may vary. 

So for this one I reached deep into my eccentric tastes to produce an example of how I could easily liberate $50,000.00

Ok, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I have eclectic airplane tastes with a strong affinity for the classics. Sorry it’s my money and its a free country.

The Monocoupe is a very unique, yet famous, sport aircraft from the 1930s that actually shares its lineage with the Luscombe. Both were the spawned from the brain of Don Luscombe and the Monocoupe is the progenitor of my beloved $20K hypothetical purchase from installment #2.

The history of these aircraft is very interesting, but I will focus more on my “purchasing” decision.

Beyond the normal cool factor of an airplane of heritage, it is also a taildragger, a radial engine taildragger at that – big points in my view.
90A Monocoupe
The example I found on barnstormers.com  was representative of others I have seen for sale. The prices do vary a lot as they are rare (only 324 were built) and it’s not often you find more than one for sale on the market at a given time.

monocoupe for sale
Although I prefer the red on black paint scheme, this little bird looks very clean.

Noting the G meter inside reminds me that these airplanes are aerobatic, at least to the extent you want to yank and bank on a 75-year-old airplane. I would have no issues with less than 4g “gentleman” aerobatics in this machine. 

I have friend and fellow corporate pilot that’s father actually flew airshows in one for years.

monocoupe cockpit
In that same vein, many of the remaining Monocoupes have been extensively modified. Seems like bigger engines and clipped wings were a popular way to hot rod  your ‘coupe.

General characteristics
  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Length: 20 ft 10 in (6.35 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 0 in (9.76 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
  • Empty weight: 973 lb (441 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 1,490 lb (676 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lambert R-266 radial engine, 90 hp (67 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 100 knots (115 mph, 185 km/h)
  • Range: 470 nm (540 miles, 869 km)
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,573 m)
  • Power/mass: 0.06 hp/lb (0.10 kW/kg)
warner engine monocoupe
With only 90hp and a cruise speed of 100mph it’s no rocket ship, but what you are buying is a really classic machine that anyone would be proud to owe – if they knew what they were looking at.

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